It is not easy to be nude in front of people, let alone within the Hong Kong milieu 70 years ago. However, at that time there was a curious group called "Hong Kong's Sunbathing Association". HKSA was not a secret association of wife swapping or S&M. Founded in 1932 as the Hong Kong Nudist Society by Mr. H.E. Lauepart, the society adopted its new name "Hong Kong's Sunbathing Association" after the end of World War II and became an officially registered organization. Its main objective was to encourage practices of home life in the nude, in the outdoors, in secluded places away from the public view.

 

Mr. H.E. Lauepart was a wealthy guy from Latvia. He went to Shanghai to run a business in the 1930's.Afterwards, because of the unstable political environment, he moved to Hong Kong to run a small business and purchased a few buildings. His life was prosperous at that time. He decided to bring Mediterranean culture to Hong Kong. For this reason, he established the Hong Kong Nudist Society in 1932. Surprisingly, the Hong Kong Nudist Society was officially approved immediately.

 

In the beginning, he posted a small advertisement in the newspaper seeking like-minded friends. To his great surprsie, 5 males and 3 females joined the Hong Kong Nudist Society. All of them were Europeans. None of the upper-class British would join HKSA.  The people from the UK were a little bit arrogant to the Europeans at that time as they had the highest number of colonies. And also they were more conservative. Under these circumstances, the Hong Kong Nudist Society destined not to succeed.

 

After over 100 members joined, Mr. H.E. Lauepart tried to promote nudity activities to public. He decided to hold an event about people in the nude in Central. The route started from Pedder Street to Chater Road Wood and ended in Statue Square. The British government thought that this called undue attention of the public so they refused to issue a permit.

 

At first, the Hong Kong Nudist Society asked the government to grant land to them. They granted the Heung Fan Liu valley in Tai Wai. Heung Fan Liu valley was a place to plant Aquilaria Sinensis but most of the people had forgotten about this place after the Aquilaria Sensis was cut down. After the Hong Kong Nudist Society was established in the Heung Fan Liu valley, people were curious about this place again. However, the whole area was blocked by high walls, people couldn't see it. Besides, it made the Hong Kong Nudist Society more mysterious to the public.

 

In 1937, because of the engineering of Shing Mun Reservoir, Mr. H.E. Lauepart moved the campus to Wok Tai Wan in Tsing Yi. They purchased a yacht so they would meet and have a nice weekend together on the beach. Although many people wanted to have a look at these event, the road was difficult to get into. For this reason, they could not be found by people.

 

the Hong Kong Nudist Society started to go into hiding because of the wartime. However, Mr. H.E. Lauepart was still promoting nudity activities and the society adopted its new name "Hong Kong's Sunbathing Association" after the end of World War II. More and more Chinese joined HKSA in the 1950's. However, most of the members just wanted to see women's bodies and did not do anything to help HKSA. After a few years, there was no more news about HKSA. Mr. H.E. Lauepart was disappointed about the environment and he sold all his apartments and then moved back to France. Afterward, nobody else tried to organize this kind of society in Hong Kong anymore. The Hong Kong Nudist Society became just a beautiful story in Hong Kong history.

 

 

@2016 CUHK